Thursday evening activities opened with a lot of fun and creativity. Beginning with PowerPoint Karaoke, risk-taking participants explained the science behind a one-slide PPT which they saw for the first time and had only 30-seconds to prepare! Typically, the topic was not in their field of study. This exercise demonstrates the importance of clearly communicating research in pictures via PPT as well as poster presentations. It also points toward the places where materials advancements in one specialized area informs another area of study. Taking an example from the scientific talks given during the week, when Yuan Yang of Columbia University reported on biological imaging of chemical bonds by using the stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) microscope, Yang also pointed out the advantages of SRS microscopy for imaging lithium ion transport during dendrite formation in lithium ion batteries.
After PPT Karaoke, the MRS volunteers involved in introducing new topical areas of study to the MRS membership engaged the Karaoke crowd as well as many other Meeting attendees to brainstorm new directions at the frontiers of materials research. The topical areas included materials for sustainability and artificial intelligence along with biomaterials, quantum materials, and responsive & adaptive materials. During this reception (accompanied with food and beverage), materials researchers came up with questions such as whether self-healing materials can be accomplished at the quantum level. They considered combined specialties such as external stimuli responsive systems for drug delivery. In the biomaterials area, scientists reached for interaction with nature such as naturopathic drug development; interaction between cells, tissues, and sound waves; and a biomimetic system that can fool the real biological systems.
As the news editor for MRS Bulletin, I’ll be looking for these studies coming to fruition!